Learn to Make Tonic Water at Home at Natasha Bahrami's Gin Room

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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Gin and Tonic at the Gin Room at Café Natasha's | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

Natasha Bahrami is as passionate about her mixers as she is about her gin. It makes sense. Why mix a great gin with an inferior tonic? She makes her own and is getting ready to offer classes in how to do it at the Gin Room in Café Natasha's (3200 South Grand Boulevard; 314-771-3411). She recently gave the Drunken Vegan a private tutorial. It turns out making tonic water is a lot easier than you might think.

See also: Local Bartender Tyler Baublitz Invents Cocktail-Themed Beard Oils

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Slugging a Pickleback, a Shot of Moonshine and Pickle Juice, at Quincy Street Bistro

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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The "Tall, Neat, and Pickled" at Quincy Street Bistro | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

When you think of cocktail ingredients, pickle juice generally doesn't come to mind (though it's good in a bloody mary). There is a growing trend, however, that pairs pickle juice with a variety of spirits. The term "pickleback" refers to a shot of pickle juice taken after a shot of booze. When the Drunken Vegan heard about the "Tall, Neat & Pickled" at Quincy Street Bistro (6931 Gravois Avenue; 314-353-1588), he had to try it.

See also: Square One Builds its Cocktail List Around House-Distilled Spirits

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Square One Builds its Cocktail List Around House-Distilled Spirits

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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The "Fitzgerald." | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

More and more bars have been touting their housemade syrups, mixers and their fresh juices, but how many make their own booze? Missouri has a few micro-distilleries now, but the first was Square One Brewery and Distillery (1727 Park Avenue; 314-231-2537). The Drunken Vegan enjoyed some unique cocktails based on some of its house spirits.

See also: Modesto Puts a Spanish Spin on Classic Cocktails

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Modesto Puts a Spanish Spin on Classic Cocktails

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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Modesto's "Spanish Negroni." | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

Amid a sea of Italian-American restaurants on the Hill is a little Spanish island of a restaurant, Modesto (5257 Shaw Avenue; 314-772-8272), with its tapas-based menu. Happy hour (5 to 7 p.m. every day, and all night Tuesday and Thursday) offers tasty small bites and drinks. But don't limit yourself to the standard red sangria (which is nice) or a cold beer. Modesto offers some interesting twists on familiar cocktails that go well with the inexpensive snacks. The Drunken Vegan tasted four of them.

The "Spanish Negroni" is an unusual take on the classic with the addition of sherry, which lends an earthy, nutty note to the drink, a nice counterpoint to the bitterness of the Campari, and the citrus from the orange bitters and gin. The subtle herbaceous character of the vermouth still comes through. It pairs perfectly with marinated olives.

See also: Mangia Italiano's New Infused Spirits Bolster Its Cocktail Program

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Mangia Italiano's New Infused Spirits Bolster Its Cocktail Program

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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The strawberry-lemon gin infusion and strawberry-citrus-basil infusion. | Patrick J. Hurley

Mangia Italiano (3145 South Grand Boulevard; 314-664-8585) makes many people think of either pasta or the debauchery of staying out until 3 a.m. listening to live music. So who, one might wonder, would go to Mangia for cocktails?

This summer, Mangia wants to change that perception by making some house-infused spirits and building a cocktail list around them. The Drunken Vegan sampled four of these new offerings on a recent visit and reports his findings.

See also: How to Make Simple Syrup at Home (the Vegan-Friendly Kind)

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How to Make Simple Syrup at Home (the Vegan-Friendly Kind)

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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A bottle of mint and lime-zest infused simple syrup. | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

Interesting fact: That snowy white granulated sugar you buy at the grocery store is not strictly vegetarian. While it doesn't contain animal products, it's bleached using a natural charcoal-filtration system that employs cattle bones. Luckily, it's easy enough to get animal-free alternatives.

That's a good thing because simple syrup, which is little more than sugar dissolved in water, is a key ingredient in a lot of very delicious cocktails. The Drunken Vegan makes his own simple syrup at home; read on to learn how to make yours cruelty free as well.

See also: Three Potable Bourbons for Less Than $20 at Starrs, Schnucks and Randall's

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Three Potable Bourbons for Less Than $20 at Starrs, Schnucks and Randall's

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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Old Bardstown Bourbon | Caroline Yoo

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

It's nice to keep your home bar stocked with some special bottles, but for day-to-day drinking, inexpensive options that don't taste like lighter fluid are a real boon. With that in mind, the Drunken Vegan has picked out three bourbons that taste a lot better than their price tag suggests. Just peel off the sticker, and your guests will be none the wiser.

See also: Mission Taco Joint's Inventive Cocktail List Goes Beyond the Margarita

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Mission Taco Joint's Inventive Cocktail List Goes Beyond the Margarita

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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The "Mission Paloma" at Mission Taco Joint. | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

There was a time when cocktails at a Mexican restaurant meant antifreeze-colored margarita Slurpees. Lucky for us, today the best Mexican restaurants are pairing inspired food with bang-up cocktails. The Drunken Vegan tried four at Mission Taco Joint (6235 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-5430) and paired them with some delectable, meatless grub.

See also: Comparing Sanctuaria's Barrel-Aged Cocktails to the Fresh-Mixed Version

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Comparing Sanctuaria's Barrel-Aged Cocktails to the Fresh-Mixed Version

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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Three Barrel-Aged Cocktails at Sanctuaria | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

Barrel aging spirits is a very old practice. Barrel aging pre-mixed cocktails, on the other hand, is a relatively recent phenomenon. The Drunken Vegan tasted three of these aged drinks at Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700) alongside a freshly mixed version in order to sip and discern the differences. It was a pleasantly instructive evening.

See also: Brunch Cocktail Alternatives: Robust and Tree House Go Beyond the Bloody Mary


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Brunch Cocktail Alternatives: Robust and Tree House Go Beyond the Bloody Mary

Categories: Drunken Vegan

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The "Italian Hound" and the "B and B" at Tree House | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

The Drunken Vegan loves a good bloody mary or mimosa as much as any thirsty, hungover soul in search of a soothing balm for the previous evening's debauchery, but here's the thing -- there are surprisingly good alternatives to these tried and true remedies. On a recent Sunday we investigated some standout brunch cocktails at Robust Wine Bar Downtown at the MX (635 Washington Avenue; 314-287-6300) and Tree House Restaurant (3177 South Grand Boulevard; 314-696-2100).

See also: Eclipse Bar's "French 75," a World War I-Era Cocktail Perfect for Summer Drinking


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